Sara Spencer Child Drama Award

Call for Nominations

Do you know of someone who does dynamic and engaging theatre with young people? Do you know of a theatre that energizes theatre for young people? Can you name the person who fueled your passion and love of theatre when you were younger? We invite you to recognize that individual or organization by nominating them for SETC’s Sara Spencer Child Drama Award.

Nomination Deadline: November 30, 2016

About the Award

The Sara Spencer Child Drama Award recognizes the work of an individual or organization for dynamic and engaging work for young people. Nominees can excel in such areas as playwriting, performance, audience development, curriculum development, funding, scholarship, community programs, research, television programming, creative drama or other enrichment programs at their community, state, regional or national level.

This award honors children’s theatre pioneer and founder of the Children’s Theatre Press (now the Anchorage Press) Sara Spencer. Spencer was the first recipient of SETC’s Suzanne M. Davis Award in 1965.

2016 Award Winner

Appalachian Young People’s Theatre

The Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYTP), one of most well-established outreach programs at Appalachian State University,  has been reaching out to underserved young audiences for 44 years. AYPT works in partnership with communities and public schools of western North Carolina to bring high-quality, affordable live theatre experiences to young audiences who would get little or no theatre in any other context.

A dynamic educational component of the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Appalachian Young People’s Theatre has a two-pronged mission: (1) to produce a variety of quality plays with educational value, including fairy tales, folk tales, musicals  and plays with contemporary themes for K-8 audiences; (2) to provide practical experience in producing and performing for young audiences for students seeking degrees in Theatre and/or Education.

AYTP is a wonderful example of the kind of program that benefits the cultural life of the region generation to generation.  Through their participation in AYPT, Appalachian students are educating and encouraging the next generation of theatre audiences.  They are also showing children that theatre is an essential art form and hopefully inspiring them to one day become young theatre artists themselves.  The Theatre and Dance department remains truly proud to have such a reputable and far-reaching program to offer.

Pictured: Drum Song of Africa: Choriato’s Journey

Kim Wheetley
Brenda May Ito
Gayle Sergel
The Children’s Theatre Foundation of America
Betsy Bisson
South Carolina Children’s Theatre
Gainesville Theatre Alliance: WonderQuest
Theatre IV
Judith Kase-Polisini
Stage One: Louisville Children’s Theatre
NC Theatre for Young People
Al Cohen
Roger Bedard
Barbara Britton
Tom Behm
Ann Hill
Orlin Corey
Birmingham Children’s Theatre
Patricia Whitton
Elizabeth Rike
Lexington Children’s Theatre
The Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of South Alabama
Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte


For more information, contact Sara Spencer Child Drama Award Nominations Chair Jeremy Kisling.